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 > Can I Tow This With My Truck?

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Rbertalotto

Massachusetts

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Posted: 03/18/16 04:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A "Dream" truck is usually not a 1/2 ton with a 5.3.....I had one and it was a nightmare pulling a much smaller trailer. 4000 rpm and 30mph going up hills is not fun! The day I got back from a western mountain trip I traded for a 3/4 diesel. Now THAT is a dream truck.


RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
2018 RAM 2500 4X4 6.4L
2011 Forest River Grey Wolf Cherokee 19RR
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krobbe

West Michigan

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To figure out how much weight you can tow, you need to find the most limiting factor of the vehicle. Ignore the 11K lbs tow rating. That is pie in the sky.
Look for the payload capacity of your truck. There is a tire inflation sticker inside the driver door jamb that says something like "Weight of cargo not to exceed ____ pounds". That is what the vehicle can carry.
Starting with that number, subtract the weight of passengers, anything else to be carried in the bed, and 100lbs for the weight distrib hitch.
What is left over is how much trailer tongue weight the vehicle can carry.
For stability, a TT needs 12 to 15% of it's loaded up to camp weight on the tongue. Now take the vehicle's left over carry capacity and divide that by .15
What you have, is the maximum weight your vehicle should tow based on it's payload capacity.
As an example:
My 3/4 Suburban has a payload of 2000#. Passengers can be up to 800#. WDH 100#.
2000 - 800 - 100 = 1100.
1100 / .15 = 7333
My TT loads up at 7200# with 1100# hitch weight ready to camp. I am just within(barely) payload capacity.
The tow rating on my truck is 10,500#. So you can see how payload is the limiting factor for my vehicle.


Me'62, DW'67, DS'04, DD'07
'03 Chevy Suburban 2500LT 4WD Vortec8.1L 4L85-E 3.73 CurtClassV
'09 BulletPremier295BHS 33'4" 7200#Loaded 1100#Tongue Equal-i-zerHitch Tires:Kumho857
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bid_time

Michigan

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like you ran into the "got to have a diesel dually to pull a popup crowd". Let's start with the payload number and go from there. Look for a yellow sticker on the door of your truck which will say something to the effect of: "The maximum load of cargo and passengers shall not exceed _____ lbs." What's that number. No one can tell you anything until they know that number.





bobndot

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That truck also has a small gas tank . At @ 8 mpg , towing just about any TT , wiil mean more frequent fuel stops. The shorter the rig, the easier it will be for you.
Many gas stations , the pumps are perpendicular to the road with a convenience store attached to it. The parked cars at the store front as well as the dopes that park at the pump and leave the car there while they sit and drink coffee will be an issue.

evanrem

WI

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to figure out the numbers on what you can tow. Do some research and get a grasp on what it all means. You can then make some what of an informed choice. With that being said if you pack lite and don't load up the bed of the truck you might fall under the limits of the truck. If you get your self a high end hitch and load the trailer properly the tow might not be so bad but better with a 3/4 ton. I had the same setup and pulled it for 5 years, just upgraded to a 3/4 ton and its a way better tow. If you fall under all the limits on the truck and you are happy with the tow you are good to go, but as you reach the limits that is where the white knuckles towing starts and it's really no fun

DutchmenSport

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After reading a few thousand posts on RV.net, I think that most folks would agree with this summation. Disclaimer: I'm talking in very general terms here, and every trailer, 5er is different and has different weights. But as a general synopsis:

Travel Trailer or 5er total length 23 feet or less = 1/2 ton truck Single axle, gas or diesel

Travel Trailer or 5er total length 23 - 31 feet = 3/4 ton truck gas, but diesel is better, and single or duly, but duly is better.

Travel Trailer or 5er total length over 31 feet = 1 ton. You can do it with a gasser, but diesel is by far the way to go, and duly will give you much, much more stability. And still use a WD hitch system.

Anything with a triple axle or over 40 feet, you at the line where you need to start thinking about HDT trucks or 450, or 550.

Here again, this is VERY subjective, it does depend on the weights of the trailer and every trailer is different. And you can tow with any truck, but the question is, how comfortable? And... do you have enough truck to stop the trailer in the event of brake failure in the camper. (This will happen some day ... even if you simply forget to plug in the trailer pig tale to the truck one time ... like I did once, and on my previous trailer, had brake failure 3 times until I was able to get the problem finally fixed).

Regardless of the size of your trailer, get a proper hitching system and don't short cut.

krobbe

West Michigan

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Posted: 03/18/16 05:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bid_time wrote:

Looks like you ran into the "got to have a diesel dually to pull a popup crowd".

No. I don't think so. Every post thus far has said it was likely the trailer was too much for the 1/2 ton based on experience or payload calculation. I saw nothing about any DUALLY comments.
Op, post your payload number and we can help you out with what will fit for your truck.

Rbertalotto

Massachusetts

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Posted: 03/18/16 06:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been towing trailers of various sizes and uses for 40 years. It is never about the "Towing Capacity" of a TV. As we have seen on TV commercials, Toyotas can tow Boeing 747s!

It's ALWAYS about pin or tongue weight. And most 1/2 ton pickups/suburbans with a modicum of options are overloaded when the tongue weight, passengers and fuel are calculated, even for some of the "Lightweight" trailers. Just check out the new Nissan diesel if you want to see an anemic cargo capacity.

A PU or suburban exacerbates the issue as that big bed or area behind the second seat cry out for you to bring more stuff! And more weight.

A few years ago, when I owned a loaded GMC, 4dr short bed pickup, I wanted a small 5th wheel. There was nothing made that didn't overload the truck in pin weight. Thank God I didn't find one because that truck was a terrible tow vehicle. Even a small 14' motorcycle trailer taxed it going up hills. I can't image what it would have been like with the weight and frontal area of a 5r.

On this forum and others, it never ceases to amaze me how folks go out and spend thousands of dollars on a truck......and then try to find a trailer it will pull safely. Folks, find a trailer that fits your lifestyle, and then buy a vehicle capable of towing it with out hours of white knuckles and over reving engines.

RDMueller

Charlotte, NC

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Posted: 03/18/16 07:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The main thing that got my attention was that you said you were planning to travel around the U.S. Some people buy a travel trailer, never tow in the mountains and seldom go more than a few hundred miles from home. For them, being "maxed out" might be ok. But if you really want to see the U.S. you are obviously going to be covering some serious miles and many of them will be in the mountains.

I tow a 29' TT that weighs in at almost 7000 lbs loaded and my combined total weight (truck and trailer) is close to 14,000 lbs. I'm doing it with a 3/4 ton diesel and wouldn't do it any other way. But that's just me. Sure I'd tow it 100 miles on flat terrain with a 1/2 ton, but for the trips we take, no way.

Personally, I think DutchmenSport's advice is spot on.


Rob and Julie
2015 Forest River Wildwood 28DBUD
2001 Dodge Ram 2500, 24V Cummins 5.9


rexmitchell

Texas

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Posted: 03/18/16 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lan.N wrote:

My wife and I are making some changes in our lives trying to inch ever closer to our dream of traveling around the U.S. We are both outdoor enthusiasts and want to see and explore this majestic country of ours. We recently purchased a 2016 Silverado 1500 (4x4, double cab, max towing package, and a 5.3L V8 engine) to tow a TT in the near future. We've attended several RV shows and looked at bunch of floor plans. Base on what we want to do and our life style we believe that a TT with a bunk house will be best for us. However, since we know nothing about towing or about RV we are here for some advice.

Our truck has a tow rating of around 11k lbs and we are interested in the the Salem Hemisphere 27bh. The trailer total length is 32'8" with a dry weigh of 6048 lbs and a cargo capacity of 3117 lbs. Our first question is will our vehicle be able to handle this? Or should we be looking for something lighter and smaller? Also, what is the maximum length a 1/2 ton truck can safely tow? Since we are planning to be relative mobile what's the maximum weight I should be looking at? Thank you in advance for your help and advice.


I'm towing similar but without the HD towing package. 2015 Silverado crew cab Z71 4x4.....our trailers unloaded weight is 5820. I estimate we are around 6800-7000k with gear, etc as long as the tanks are empty. Pulls fine but we have a nice weight distributing hitch that makes a huge difference. Trailer is 29 ft long and other than getting around 10 mpg it isn't that big of a deal towing it. I've not experienced any issue with RPM's climbing too high when towing, but there is a normal rise when going through the hills....Nothing that is unbearable or abnormal with a loaded trailer in tow though. I've been looking at 3/4 tons but won't be upgrading to that unless we get a bigger trailer.

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